The inspiration for our company was formed by the memory of my grandfather, John D. Schmidt.
My grandfather (aka, Pop Pop), was a tool and die maker by trade but was best known for being a problem solver, especially in the community. He led by example and enjoyed working in a variety of capacities such as mayor and volunteer fire fighter. He prided himself on his work ethic and integrity. This component is especially significant in a successful building company. The name of our company is a tribute to him and the authenticity in which he led his life. My father, JJ Ewers, was also instrumental in my younger years by sharing his work from his architectural firm – this creativity and design element is essential in developing solutions to the potential complexities of custom homebuilding. I was fortunate enough to have these excellent mentors in the formulation of our company.
As a father of two special needs children, I’ve come to realize that things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes the detour is entirely better than the original plan. The same goes for custom homebuilding. If we can step back and embrace what has been afforded to us, we will inevitably elevate the outcome. The joy of this fruition is astoundingly rewarding. We strive to maintain this spirit in all of our team – that good will, innovation, and hard work will always yield the best results and value. We hope to make each of our homes as uniquely as God has made our lives.
As a general contractor, I realize it is important to promote transparency in everything we do as we are a “contractual-based” company that forms agreements with one party and then contracts with another party to execute that agreement. First and foremost, we must hire the right people that do the right thing when nobody is watching. My uncle once asked my grandfather why he painted the back of cabinets, that nobody would ever see that side because it was fixed to the wall. Pop Pop simply replied, “but I will know it’s not painted.” It’s the foundation to do the right thing regardless of conflict or difficulty – to follow through and ensure all work is completed as agreed.
While working for a national homebuilding firm, I realized the importance of setting realistic expectations and managing our commitments to those milestones. These milestones were to provide an outline to execute our original agreement. However, custom homebuilding is more of an evolution with creativity and ideas that can completely transform a nice plan into an exceptional home. It is the awareness that every home is unique with its orientation to its natural setting, its occupants’ uses and functions, its fit and finishes, and most importantly, its lasting value. This awareness and pursuit of transparency will enable a network of team players to collectively deliver that agreed-upon value.
Grandfather Homes registered as an S- Corporation. Full operations started in earnest in January 2007 with five speculative homes underway. Matt Ewers worked alongside his wife, Gretchen, in their Plaza Midwood 1000 sf bungalow. It was not long before Grandfather was recognized by the real estate community as having well-appointed homes with unique features. Matt focused in on that niche and realized his best asset was taking a seemingly ordinary lot or home plan and customizing it’s features to accentuate it’s highest and best use. This component wasn’t really difficult to uncover – but it took patience and commitment. It also involved understanding the potential effect on the schedule and budget. The trade-off is long term, as what might cost an extra $10,000 could have a realized value of $20,000 when properly presented. The initial schedule could be hampered, but in terms of better value in the lifetime of a home, these types of trade-off are no-brainers.
Chris Royal was promoted to General Manager and implemented a host of technological advancements through Project Manager software to better manage the homeowner experience. The technology not only facilitated direct online interactions between Project Managers and subcontractors, but also between our Project Managers and homebuyers. Extreme lengths were taken to ensure that clients could customize their homes and were afforded multiple options. The process is now quite simple and we are extremely proud of the streamlined method.
Grandfather Homes employs a financial services company to better sync our project management and accounting software for not only our customers and vendors but for our sustainability as well. This peace of mind continues to provide confidence in the current market and is a testament to our abilities to uncover the best value for new trends.
Grandfather Homes understands the necessity of proper homeowner representation through the entire building process. In addition to the field and office managers, the company employs: a licensed Civil Engineer to ensure acquisition efforts are maximized and protected, a Sales Team that collects the vision and deduces it to a format that can be captured through a network of architects, designers, and tradesmen, and an Interior Designer that is the advocate for introducing new materials or trends and transitions their selections to Project Managers.